Aussie Open 2014 In Review

When the Aussie Open began two weeks ago, I don’t think anyone expected Na Li and Stanislas Wawrinka to be the champions. In becoming such, they achieved something rare. Na Li is the first Asian winner of the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific and Wawrinka became the first person outside of “The Big Four” to win a Grand Slam title since Juan Martin Del Potro won the U.S. Open in 2009.  But this tournament was also rare because it taught us so much. Here’s what we learned from the Aussie Open 2014:

1. No one is invincible Seeds fell early as upsets abounded this year. Novak Djokovic’s loss to eventual champion Wawrinka was the most notable upset on the men’s side as many had Novak tapped to win his fourth consecutive and fifth overall Aussie Open title. On the women’s side, favorite Serena Williams lost in the Round of 16 to Ana Ivanovic who was then upset by Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard. Sharapova and Radwanska lost to finalist Dominika Cibulkova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka lost to Radwanska.

2. There is beauty in simplicity The current trend among tennis clothing seems to be the busier the better, especially with Nike and their crazy shorts and tops. But Alize Cornet taught us a valuable lesson with her Lacoste dress: that more is not better.

CornetThis dress is simple yet pretty and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite outfits of the tournament. The sleeves are sheer mesh and add a little something special without being overpowering or distracting. Thank you, Lacoste for breaking from the outrageous and the neon to bring us this classy look.

Alize wants to know why Nike and Adidas have to go all crazy with their designs

Alize wants to know why Nike and Adidas have to go all crazy with their designs

3. The “hanger effect” can also happen in reverse You know the scenario. You see something on a hanger in a store and you fall in love with it. You take it to the dressing room and try it on but it just doesn’t look as good on you as it did on the hanger no matter how much tugging and readjusting you do. This is known as the “hanger effect.” But we learned at the Aussie Open this year that if it looks bad on the hanger, it might not look so bad on you. Case in point, Caroline Wozniacki’s Adidas by Stella McCartney dress.

Woz Aussie 14This didn’t look nearly as bad on Caro as I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still not a fan of it because it’s just too busy. And I’m also sad to announce that it’s now available in blue. Looks like we’ll be looking at this style until Roland Garros.

On the other hand, Flavia Pennetta’s Adidas by Stella McCartney outfit looked just as bad as I expected it to.

PennettaThis is a good look for no one.

4. Nike needs new designers The person who designed the high waisted skirt for women needs to be fired. The person who designed the multicolored striped shorts for men needs to be fired. Maria Sharapova needs to stop designing dresses that involve visible undershorts.

Strike 1

Strike 1

Strike 2

Strike 2

Strike 3

Strike 3

You're out! (Here's hoping)

You’re out! (Here’s hoping)

5. Back injuries blow Nadal was severely hampered by his second set back injury in the final and it’s a shame because it was shaping up to be a good match. But then he was out there sandbagging and Wawrinka’s play seemed to drop with Nadal’s and we had one very weird men’s final. And it wasn’t good in a weird way. Would Wawrinka have still won had Nadal been able to play at his normal level of sublime tennis? We’ll never know. Not only is the back one of the worst injuries you can sustain in tennis–I know from experience. You don’t realize how much you use your back in the sport until you injure it and every step and every swing hurts–but it made the men’s final far less exciting than it could have been and it denied Wawrinka the chance to really and truly celebrate his first Grand Slam title.

*All photos courtesy of AusOpen.com and TennisWarehouse.com

Nike a big flop at U.S. Open

At this year’s U.S. Open, very little Nike apparel was visually pleasing.  Here’s a look at some of the worst.

Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka wore two of Nike’s pieces that are made of Dri-Fit material and spandex jersey, the fabric that lends the skirt and top their slightly heathered look. I’m not a fan of the effect. Nor am I a fan of the high waisted skirt–and yes, it is supposed to be high waisted.  As a rule, the only high waisted article of clothing anybody should wear is a pencil skirt, and even those are not exactly “in” anymore.

 

 

Bouchard & Keys

Eugenie Bouchard wore this creation that was supposed to be worn by Maria Sharapova who withdrew before the tournament.  I’m not entirely sure what the pattern is supposed to be–New York City skyline and harbor maybe?–but whatever it is, it’s ugly. And the undershorts that stick out? Not a good look. I expect better from Sharapova.

 

Serena

Serena’s pink dress was for day matches and the gray for night matches.  Both were bad. The skirt was a bad play on the current high-low dress trend. But instead of the front being high and the back low, the sides were high and the front and back were low. And like Azarenka’s pieces, these dresses are also heathered.  It looks good on neither.

 

Federer US Open

I don’t know what happened here. Federer is usually so well dressed. Then again, Federer usually makes it past the fourth round and he didn’t do that at this year’s U.S. Open either.  Much like Caroline Wozniacki’s Adidas by Stella McCartney dress, there’s one too many shades of blue here. Those shorts don’t even remotely go with the rest of the look.

 

Nadal US Open

Finally, Rafael Nadal wore this all gray get-up for his night matches.  Why was Nike obsessed with gray? It looks good sometimes but too much is drab. And looking at this outfit makes me sad. I’m also not a fan of the Pepto pink swooshes.

 

Na Li

The outfit worn by Na Li was Nike’s shining start of the tournament. When I saw it on TennisWarehouse.com, I thought it was so ugly. So maybe it’s one of those things that looks better on you than it does on the hanger.  But then the gray raises its ugly head on her skirt. But it was so short–so short in fact that her normal tan lines were not covered by it–that it wasn’t over powering, unlike Azarenka’s too-long skirt, Serena’s night dress, and Nadal’s all gray outfit.

 

*Photo credits top to bottom: USA Today, TennisWarehouse.com, Zimbio (Serena left), wwtdd.com (Serena right), USOpen.org (Federer, Nadal, Li)

Published in: on September 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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Aussie Open Women’s Final: Nike vs. Nike

Na Li beat Maria Sharapova to reach her second Australian Open final and Victoria Azarenka beat Sloane Stephens to reach her second Australian Open final as well.  Not only is this a great match-up, it sets up an all Nike final.  Both Na Li and Azarenka wore clothes from the Grand group.  Azarenka wore the Grand flouncy dress in melon while Na Li wore the Grand flouncy skirt and polo.  The theme of this fashion face-off is pick-your-poison.  Na Li  chose the worst skirt in the collection.  I hate the asymmetrical hem line because it looks messy.  The only saving grace is its color.

Na Li

 

The opposite can be said about Azarenka’s dress.  The color is the worst part.  It’s called melon but looks like peaches and cream.  And it’s pretty boring to boot.

Vika

 

The winner of the match has yet to be decided but I regretfully choose Na Li as the winner in this fashion face-off.

*Photo credits: AustralianOpen.com

Published in: on January 24, 2013 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Best and Worst Dressed of Roland Garros 2011

Congratulations to Na Li and Rafael Nadal on their French Open titles!  But now it’s time for Center Court Catwalk to congratulate the fashion winners and shake its head with pity at the fashion losers of Roland Garros.

First up, the ones who dressed to impress.

Roger Federer

Federer looked classy, as always, in a striped Nike polo and white shorts.  Simple but sharp.

Daniela Hantuchova

Hantuchova looked great in this Adidas dress. I just love bright pink for the French Open! And her dress just says ‘Summer.’

Jelena Jankovic

Jankovic, like Hantuchova, wisely chose to wear pink.  And bonus, unlike Hantuchova, she was the only one to wear this dress.

Na Li

Li wore pieces from the Nike Summer Group.  Other players like Sabine Lisicki and Petra Kvitova wore pieces from this collection as well but none wore them better than the winner of the women’s title.

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova, like Roger Federer, always looks classy and this was no exception.  Her yellow dress was inspired by the EifelTower, making it only too appropriate for the French Open.

Finally in the Best Dressed category is Sam Stosur.

Though she was knocked out early, she looked good in her red and white striped Lacoste dress.  I love pink for the French Open but I love red as well.  Though many Lacoste players wore a variation of the striped ensemble, Stosur was the only one to my knowledge who wore it in red.

And now to those who disappointed.

Anybody who wore Fila, especially Kim Clijsters.

Monica Seles was great.  This outfit inspired by her is not.  Unfortunately for her, Clijsters was knocked out early.  On the other hand, fortunately for our eyeballs she was knocked out early.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Mattek-Sands wore three different ensembles in three different matches.  This was the worst.  I don’t know where to begin. The eye black design, the one-shoulder atrocity of a dress or the black tube socks.  It all adds up to one very bad look.

And last but not least, Gael Monfils

I’m all for bright colors but this is the wrong one. Purple.  Need I say more?

*All images, excepting Mattek-Sands (Sports Illustrated) and Monfils (AP), courtesy of Getty Images

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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